My thanks to Roger Sanger, the copyright holder, for granting me
permission to host this article on my web site. To quote him, "I was looking
for a new home for DGP's 2300 AD articles, and naturally I picked the best fan
sites on the Web for that purpose. Kudos to Pentapod's World! Enjoy!"
- Kevin Clark
- January 24th, 2000.
Disclaimer required by Far Future Enterprises: This item is not authorized or endorsed by Far Future Enterprises ( FFE) and is used without permission. The item is for personal use only. Any use of FFE's copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, this item cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the copyright owner ( DGP).
Really more an aircraft than any other type of vehicle, the Condor VX is a two-man, personal jump-jet. Although the technology to construct this manner of vehicle was refined in the late 20th century, it did not see any kind of large-scale production until the mid-21st century.
On Earth and many of the older colonies, where VTOLs must fly by the same regulations governing any aircraft flight, military, governmental, and commercial agencies use VTOLs more than do private individuals. However, on several frontier colonies and outposts, VTOLs are a significant method of private transport.
Tirane is an example of a colony where private VTOLs are used heavily for private transportation. Tirane's founders set up regulations and traffic control systems which give preference to personal VTOLs. This, combined with the planet's relative wealth, has made Tirane one of the leading colonies in the use of personal VTOLs. The Condor VX is fairly typical of this type of craft.
The use of vectored thrust nozzles lining the craft's underbelly gives it a fair hovering capability, though at a considerable increase in fuel expenditure ( divide endurance by 4). The canards may be folded up when the craft is grounded so that it may be parked or stored more easily. The landing struts terminate in a durable pad -- each of which has retractable, steerable, self-powered wheels so that the Condor VX can be maneuvered into a convenient parking facility.
The passenger compartment is accessible via two upward-swinging doors. The cargo space is at the rear of the vehicle and is not accessible from the passenger compartment.
Avionics are fitted into the nose and include a 300 km range radio, collision avoidance radar, an identification transmitter, and an autopilot. The autopilot constantly monitors the flight path. If it detects an imminent collision, it will take control of the craft long enough to put it on a safe heading. The craft can operate with the autopilot disconnected; on Tirane, for example, it is unlawful to do so: operation with the autopilot disconnected in marked high traffic areas results in stiff fines and a 1 year suspension of the operator's license.
Type: Personal jet-propelled VTOL transport; Crew: Pilot;
Mass: 2,000 kg; Armor: All faces 0.5; Evasion: 13;
Sensor Range: 30 km; Signature: +1; Cargo: 1 passenger
and 100 kg cargo; Maximum Speed: 700 kph; Cruising Speed:
500 kph; Combat Movement: 1,500 meters; Endurance: 3.5 hrs;
Designed specifically with the needs of the distant colony worlds and outposts in mind, the Pionier HUV ( Heavy Utility Vehicle) is an extremely durable, multi-role utility vehicle. In general, wheeled and tracked vehicles are the standard on the frontier since they have no dependence on atmospheric pressure or composition for operation.
The Pioneer's excellent ATV characteristics are achieved by its large, independently-driven, six-wheeled configuration with heavy suspension and high ground clearance. The two-piece chassis is jointed between the passenger and utility section to allow the vehicle to flex up to 37 degrees in any direction with respect to its axis, and to move torsionally up to 45 degrees in either direction. The water-tight hull and large tires make it floatation-capable; as an option, it may be fitted with impellers for aquatic surface propulsion.
The Pionier's engineering was kept as simple as possible to ease repair difficulty and to simplify the manufacture of replacement parts. With the high cost of importing parts from the core worlds, this factor gave the Pionier the ability to edge out its competitors and become a primary utility vehicle of the French Arm.
The Pionier may be factory ordered in a number of configurations, from fire fighter to survey rover. Each of the configurations may be constructed with a pressurized cab, if desired. Selecting this option reduces the passenger capacity by one.
Type: Wheeled Heavy Utility Vehicle; Crew: Driver; Mass: 4,200 kg; Armor: Suspension 0.4, All faces 0.4; Signature: 6; Evasion: 1; Maximum Speed: 135 kph; Cruising Speed: 100 kph; Cargo ( standard configuration): 4 passengers and 1,500 kg cargo; Combat Movement: 275 meters; Off-Road Mobility: 3/4; Powerplant: 0.14 MW hydrogen fuel cell; Fuel Capacity: 120 kg; Fuel Consumption: 4 kg/hr cruising, 5 kg/hr maximum; Endurance: 30 hours at cruising speed; Price ( standard config.): Lv15,000.
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